Can you devastate a child in a single moment?

May 3, 2007 at 10:29 am | Posted in education, life, personal, teachers | Leave a comment

I came from a peasant culture, where we talk very loudly. It is not considered cultured or even polite in American culture, but it is expected of peasants who work in large fields for generations.

I came to America as a refugee when I was four years old. I was a happy child, active, bright, highly successful academically very quickly.

One day, during a bus ride on a field trip, my teacher turned to me and said, “____, you’re too loud! Be quiet.”

From then on, I was called “thoughtful” and “shy”.

I pretty much stopped talking at school and at home. I continued to be highly successful, but…

I will always remember that moment whenever I open my mouth to criticize or correct a child. I can never know if today is the day that I say some thoughtless, meaningless words that will shut down a child for years or forever.

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